Options for flat-sided storage boxes?

jdlobb

Adventurer
What options are out there for storage boxes that have flat sides, like the FrontRunner Wolf/Cub Packs and Alu-boxes? Doesn't necessarily have to be waterproof like those. Something that maximizes interior space would be ideal, it doesn't have to necessarily be as sturdy as a wolf pack.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Really Useful Boxes DO have straight sides, and come in a lot of different sizes (which is great). HOWEVER, they are not very volume-efficient once you calculate how much you lose to the interior structures.

For example, the "64 liter" box has external dimensions of 28" x 17-5⁄16" x 12-1⁄4" (from here: https://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/usa/html/boxdetails.php)

Externally, that box consumes 5938 cubic inches, or 97 LITERS! That makes it only 66% efficient. It seems weird, but in many cases, you're actually better off going with a standard tapered-side tote because at least they have simple/thin walls without all the intermediate structure.

Obviously, if you need the structure for rigidity/strength, then forget it and do whatever you need to do. But if you're in the mode of hunting for maximum usable volume, then make sure you do the math.


EDIT: For example: the Rubbermaid "Roughneck" 14 gallon (53 liters) uses 23. 875 in. L x 15. 875 in. W x 12. 25 in (4643 cubic inches, or 76 liters), which makes it 70% efficient, even with the tapered sides. Obviously there are times when one container fits a given space better than another, so efficiency is also measured in whether you're using the available space or not.
 
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pluton

Adventurer
If those reallyuseful boxes are made out of the cheapo polypro that Container Store boxes are, they won't last long in use.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
If those reallyuseful boxes are made out of the cheapo polypro that Container Store boxes are, they won't last long in use.
The upside of the ReallyUseful stuff is that it is well made. Good materials, good tight-fitting lids and latching mechanism, etc. As I say, I just can't afford the volume penalty since I drive a small rig.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Really Useful Boxes DO have straight sides, and come in a lot of different sizes (which is great). HOWEVER, they are not very volume-efficient once you calculate how much you lose to the interior structures.

For example, the "64 liter" box has external dimensions of 28" x 17-5⁄16" x 12-1⁄4" (from here: https://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/usa/html/boxdetails.php)

Externally, that box consumes 5938 cubic inches, or 97 LITERS! That makes it only 66% efficient. It seems weird, but in many cases, you're actually better off going with a standard tapered-side tote because at least they have simple/thin walls without all the intermediate structure.
I think there's some miscommunication going on.

Their description says "For external box dimensions we use the maximum size of the box with the lid and handles in place. For internal box dimensions, we take the minimum dimensions. All dimensions and weigths are approximate."

Which leads me to wonder if the box is measuring 63 liters (24" x 14.5625" x 11") internally with or without the lid. That could add roughly 5 liters if the "minimum dimensions do not include the lid but it's got about an inch of internal height (e.g. 24"x14.5625"x1" for an external 28"x17.3125"x1.25").

I don't know either way, just a question.

FWIW, I use Rubbermaid boxes and the tapering sides are awkward for anything rigid internally and leave triangular volumes between them, so the dimensions are probably misleading from a real world packing perspective. My guess is in an overall use any slab side box is going store things in a more useful way.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
These are not a bad choice especially if HD is running a Black Friday sale


Tool Box: 22.2″ long x 13.7″ wide x 12.4″ tall, 9.5 gallon storage volume

I use one of these with the smaller box clipped on top in my truck tool box when I need to haul a lot of “stuff”
 

jdlobb

Adventurer
These are not a bad choice especially if HD is running a Black Friday sale


Tool Box: 22.2″ long x 13.7″ wide x 12.4″ tall, 9.5 gallon storage volume

I use one of these with the smaller box clipped on top in my truck tool box when I need to haul a lot of “stuff”
I really like the toolbox idea. That’s the same interior volume as the short bins I’m using now, and looks like it takes up way less space.

I also saw these Plano Automotive Trunks at walmart just today and they look interesting as well, the dimensions are ideal. Long, skinny, and modestly tall would be very convenient for loading
 

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Vinman

Observer
I think the Plano boxes are hard to beat for space efficiency and cost. I’ve been using them for almost a decade and have yet to have any issues.
 

Scoutman

Explorer
We use ESD safe divider boxes a lot at work and they seem like a great solution for those not needing to check the water resistant box. They are straight walled, have lots of divider options, snap on lids (no latches), and stack very well. They're not as 'overlandy' as a Wolf Pack but they may be a better option for some.

You can source these from many places like Global Industrial, Uline, etc. and are reasonably priced compared to a wolf pack or similar box, but just slightly more expensive than a Plano or Rubbermaid of similar size. The sizes are typically divisible by the larger sizes meaning that 2 of the smaller size boxes would stack on top of a larger box (similar to an Alubox).

Running the volume numbers puts them at a 76% efficiency but if you omit the slight upper lip that the lid clips to they would score closer to an 89% due to the wall ribs only being ~.25" (I have a 16x10x8 sitting at my desk). The wall ribbing also doubles as the interior divider slots.

They are pretty robust and handle being tossed around in all sorts of industrial applications. I'm planning to incorporate a few into my next build.
 
We’ve used a couple of aluminum dry boxes from FrontierPlay for several years. You lose a bit of space to the handles, and the lip is slightly inset for the rubber gasket. On the other hand, they are quite sturdy and have never leaked, even in heavy rains. They seem a bit cheaper than the alu boxes, but I can’t comment on whether there are any differences in quality.
 

slomatt

Adventurer
I've been looking at these. I haven't tried them yet, so I have no actual experience with them, but if they are halfway sturdy they seem like a good option:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07KG51...colid=G4OJ82EFNUKI&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I use a similar folding crate for dry goods storage. I bought it at Costco and built my own lid since it didn't come with one. This has lived in the back of my truck for about a year, been on multiple trips, and has held up well.
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
DeWalt Tough System boxes are great for this. I use the XL one for a food box and it is sturdy enough to sit or stand on. And the little tool rack along the back side works great for kitchen utensils.
 
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